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Yearbook of the United Nations 2003

image of Yearbook of the United Nations 2003

This unique publication, the fifty-seventh volume of the Yearbook of the United Nations, chronicles all the major activities undertaken in the United Nations system in the year 2003. Some of the issues faced in that particularly challenging year include the rift in the Security Council over the use of force by a United States-led coalition against Iraq because of its alleged retention of banned weapons of mass destruction, the terrorist attack on the Organization’s headquarters in Baghdad, the establishment by the Secretary-General of the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, and the Security Council’s adoption of a declaration on combating terrorism.

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International trade, finance and transport

Growth in the volume of world merchandise trade in 2003 accelerated to an estimated 4.7 per cent, from 3 per cent in 2002. The improved performance was attributed mainly to increased import demand in developing countries, particularly in Asia, and in the transition economies. Most of the growth occurred during the second half of the year. Among the developed countries, exports of the United States rebounded in the third quarter and those of Japan recovered in the second half of the year. However, Western Europe experienced low growth in both import and export volumes, while the export performance of Central and Eastern Europe was mixed. On the other hand, the external trade of developing countries grew by 9 per cent, well over the world average.

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